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Published On: June 19th, 2015

Thunder Bay, Ont. — Willmar's three best offensive games of the season have come against Thunder Bay. 

Make that four after Thursday night. The Stingers (13-9) used a five-run seventh inning to topple the Border Cats 11-4 at Port Arthur Stadium and take three of four from Thunder Bay north of the border. 

For the second straight night the Stingers fell behind after the first inning, but the offense had a quick response to give the Stingers the lead for good. After trailing 1-0 after the first, Willmar got started in the second inning with a one-out single by Paul Funk. Then Billy Quirke reached on a fielder's choice, with an error allowing Funk to reach second safely. Dan Motl walked after that and Sean Beesley singled in Funk to tie the score. Storm Wilson had a sacrifice fly, and the Stingers wouldn't relinquish the lead the rest of the way. 

That was more than enough for Stingers' starter Tyler Hanson, who scattered eight hits throughout the night and allowed just two runs. Hanson stranded six runners throughout the night, all of whom were left in scoring position. 

With Hanson putting together another strong start, the Stingers offense came back for more. Willmar added one in the fourth and two more in the fifth to extend the lead to 5-2. But the big inning for Willmar was the seventh when the Stingers put a high five on the board to put the game out of reach. Motl highlighted the inning with a triple to drive in Quirke, and Troy Dixon added a double that brought around Motl and Wilson to make it 8-2. Dixon and Tyler Leffler would end up scoring on an error by the Border Cats' third baseman to make it a 10-2 Stingers edge. 

After seven strong innings from Hanson, Tyler Heitmann finished the night with two innings in relief to make the Stingers 4-1 in the first five games of their nine-game road trip. 

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Tonight’s Center for Diagnostic Imaging player of the game was Sean Beesley. CDI is your local medical imaging provider. It’s your choice where you go for medical imaging, for MRI, CT, mammograms and pain injections, choose CDI. Visit online at

The 2015 Stingers season is presented by Marcus Construction. For more coverage of the Stingers visit the West Central Tribune online at

The Willmar Stingers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2015, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website.  For more information, visit